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We Won't Go Back - New Lady App Track

edited June 12 in Creations

Kind of a progressive synth pop anthem for our time:

https://ladyapp-titude.bandcamp.com/track/we-wont-go-back

FREE to listen. Easy to purchase/support.

Best,
Babz

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Comments

  • Fantastic composition, enjoyed the synth lead and given that it takes a lot for me to appreciate vocals on a track I really enjoyed these. Great harmonies. 👍

  • I love your songs. app lady!

  • @pedro said:
    I love your songs. app lady!

    Thanks so much @pedro !!! :)

  • @GeoTony said:
    Fantastic composition, enjoyed the synth lead and given that it takes a lot for me to appreciate vocals on a track I really enjoyed these. Great harmonies. 👍

    Thank you so much @GeoTony !!! Especially heartening to hear the vocals are acceptable, because this track has been held up for months as I tried repeatedly to get someone to replace the vocals, several people involved and they all fell through. Finally, I got tried of waiting and felt tune needed to be out there, so I went ahead and released it with my scratch demo vocals that were intended to be replaced! :#

  • edited June 13

    This is wonderful. Hearing the track, with headphones, I can appreciate all the elements that went into the composition.

    I would thoroughly recommend this being sent to Lauren Laverne at BBC 6 Music or basically just that station.

    The vocals sit really well in the mix, with that vocoder harmony edge to them.

    Bought the track right away so it can go on repeat listen.

  • edited June 13

    @dasgoods said:
    This is wonderful. Hearing the track, with headphones, I can appreciate all the elements that went into the composition.

    I would thoroughly recommend this being sent to Lauren Laverne at BBC 6 Music or basically just that station.

    The vocals sit really well in the mix, with that vocoder harmony edge to them.

    Bought the track right away so it can go on repeat listen.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful comments @dasgoods !!

    But, what do mean "vocoder"? This is totally natural voice. There is no vocoder or auto-tune or any synthetic vocal processing on this tune. Just the usual compression/EQ, reverb/delay you would put on any rock vocal. Maybe a bit of chorus/double tracking.

    I usually train myself to ignore random comments, but this one really puzzles me! o:)

  • Nice track. This being another random comment from the Internet...your voice works really well here and the production quality is right up there. 🕺 🙂 Sometimes it's hard to replace the magic in a demo take.

  • edited June 13

    Pretty swingin’ song! I think it would work equally well with a swing band back up, but this works really well.

    Also, I don’t think dasgoods was trying to be insulting. The vocals are really in the pocket so if you sang those vocals with no quantizing, that’s impressive. I thought you were using a Vocaloid.

    By the way, I’m checking out your other songs and I particularly like Alnilam (Orion's Belt). Very nice.

  • edited June 13

    @NeuM said:
    Pretty swingin’ song! I think it would work equally well with a swing band back up, but this works really well.

    Also, I don’t think dasgoods was trying to be insulting. The vocals are really in the pocket so if you sang those vocals with no quantizing, that’s impressive. I thought you were using a Vocaloid.

    By the way, I’m checking out your other songs and I particularly like Alnilam (Orion's Belt). Very nice.

    Thanks so much for your comments @NeuM . I didn't mean to imply that I took any comments as "insulting," just surprising, just very different from my concept of how I hear it. dasgoods was not the first person to use the term "vocoder", and now you are saying "Vocaloid" ... and I'm like WHAT?

    I think maybe what’s going on here is this…

    The rest of the tune is very synth pop-precise and robotic, so that when I went to do the vocals, I felt they needed to be perfectly on time and perfectly on pitch to match the feel of the tune.

    I suppose I could have used something like autotune, but I hate that sound. Instead, my approach was to just keep doing endless takes until I had something that was as close to perfectly on pitch and on time as possible.

    Also, the song was originally instrumental and the melody itself was originally composed on guitar and synth. And I was listening to that in my cans as I recorded the vocals, so maybe a bit of that bleeded through (?).

    Also, the melody itself in not a very typical vocal melody, and the phrases and words go by very fast. They are essentially words that are following what was originally a jazz fusion-ish guitar/synth melody that jumps around odd wide intervals, perfect 4ths etc. Maybe because people are so used to hearing autotune or vocoder or whatever modern synthetic vocal effects nowadays, they are interpreting it in that way. (?)

    What’s difficult for me to wrap my head around is that I thought I worked very hard to avoid a synthetic sound, to get something that was precise but natural, like a good jazz singer writing words to a Charlie Parker melody or something. I was aiming for like a progressive synth pop version of Annie Ross or Cheryl Bentyne (Manhattan Transfer) or someone like Bobby McFerrin . Instead apparently what people are perceiving is more like Kraftwerk! :o

    Come to think of it, this may explain why one singer I had lined up, who was very enthusiastic about the project, ended up inexplicably ghosting me and bailing... It's actually a vocal melody that is much harder to sing than it might seem!

  • @Lady_App_titude said:

    @dasgoods said:
    This is wonderful. Hearing the track, with headphones, I can appreciate all the elements that went into the composition.

    I would thoroughly recommend this being sent to Lauren Laverne at BBC 6 Music or basically just that station.

    The vocals sit really well in the mix, with that vocoder harmony edge to them.

    Bought the track right away so it can go on repeat listen.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful comments @dasgoods !!

    But, what do mean "vocoder"? This is totally natural voice. There is no vocoder or auto-tune or any synthetic vocal processing on this tune. Just the usual compression/EQ, reverb/delay you would put on any rock vocal. Maybe a bit of chorus/double tracking.

    I usually train myself to ignore random comments, but this one really puzzles me! o:)

    Thanks for clearing that up :)

    I'm not a musician nor do I know the tricks to make vocals sound the way you have demonstrated here.

    And thank you also for the detailed explanation on how you recorded the track and the difficulties you had with the vocals.

    I would happily share this to all the radio stations that I know would play this.

    It's rare for me to enjoy a song so much that I'd suggest it get promoted to a national radio station here in the UK.

    If you are aware of John Peel, his son Tom Ravenscroft will thoroughly enjoy this.

    This is a flavour of what he plays every week
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0017v20

  • edited June 13

    @dasgoods said:

    I would happily share this to all the radio stations that I know would play this.

    It's rare for me to enjoy a song so much that I'd suggest it get promoted to a national radio station here in the UK.

    If you are aware of John Peel, his son Tom Ravenscroft will thoroughly enjoy this.

    This is a flavour of what he plays every week
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0017v20

    That would be wonderful! I am greatly appreciative of anything anyone might do to help with promotions. By all means, spread the word! After singers, the next thing someone like myself needs the most is help with marketing. It's hard enough to be a musician, but nowadays you're supposed to market yourself too, and I know essentially nothing about any of that. My plate is quite full enough just figuring out how to write, perform, arrange, mix, master, and produce the music itself! :)

    Having said that, I can report that so far this has been my most successful first day release ever, both in terms of number of plays, and sales! I have no idea why, but I'm guessing maybe it's because the tune has vocals. Whatever the reason, I most sincerely thank everyone for their generous support! It will certainly go a long way towards the ability to continue to have the time and resources to produce this kind of content!

    I'm not a musician nor do I know the tricks to make vocals sound the way you have demonstrated here.

    And thank you also for the detailed explanation on how you recorded the track and the difficulties you had with the vocals.

    Some more boring technical details... The vocoder was developed in the 30s and 40s at Bell Labs and became popular in the 80s as a robot voice effect. Basically you talk into a microphone and play the melody on a keyboard. It can be a difficult device to master. I've actually only used a vocoder once in my life, back in 2004 on a tune called ENID, which was a song about an alien praying mantis who visits Earth:

    Nowadays there are several other cool methods of producing synthesized human voice effects, including Vocaloid, which someone mentioned. With Vocaloid you actually type the words on the screen and it reproduces them with various synthetic voices. I've not tried it, but I imagine it can get quite tedious. Then there are more recent tools like Izotope Vocal Synth or Waves Ovox, which can produce similar effects and entirely new effects, with a more streamlined workflow. All of these are really cool, but I've yet to try any of them in a project. Maybe someday.

  • @Lady_App_titude said:

    @dasgoods said:

    I would happily share this to all the radio stations that I know would play this.

    It's rare for me to enjoy a song so much that I'd suggest it get promoted to a national radio station here in the UK.

    If you are aware of John Peel, his son Tom Ravenscroft will thoroughly enjoy this.

    This is a flavour of what he plays every week
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0017v20

    That would be wonderful! I am greatly appreciative of anything anyone might do to help with promotions. By all means, spread the word! After singers, the next thing someone like myself needs the most is help with marketing. It's hard enough to be a musician, but nowadays you're supposed to market yourself too, and I know essentially nothing about any of that. My plate is quite full enough just figuring out how to write, perform, arrange, mix, master, and produce the music itself! :)

    Having said that, I can report that so far this has been my most successful first day release ever, both in terms of number of plays, and sales! I have no idea why, but I'm guessing maybe it's because the tune has vocals. Whatever the reason, I most sincerely thank everyone for their generous support! It will certainly go a long way towards the ability to continue to have the time and resources to produce this kind of content!

    I'm not a musician nor do I know the tricks to make vocals sound the way you have demonstrated here.

    And thank you also for the detailed explanation on how you recorded the track and the difficulties you had with the vocals.

    Some more boring technical details... The vocoder was developed in the 30s and 40s at Bell Labs and became popular in the 80s as a robot voice effect. Basically you talk into a microphone and play the melody on a keyboard. It can be a difficult device to master. I've actually only used a vocoder once in my life, back in 2004 on a tune called ENID, which was a song about an alien praying mantis who visits Earth:

    Nowadays there are several other cool methods of producing synthesized human voice effects, including Vocaloid, which someone mentioned. With Vocaloid you actually type the words on the screen and it reproduces them with various synthetic voices. I've not tried it, but I imagine it can get quite tedious. Then there are more recent tools like Izotope Vocal Synth or Waves Ovox, which can produce similar effects and entirely new effects, with a more streamlined workflow. All of these are really cool, but I've yet to try any of them in a project. Maybe someday.

    I really like that "ENID" track also.

  • Now the song on Bandcamp seems to have the vocals mixed deep into the background.
    Is it just me or did the track get swapped out for another mix?

    I bought the track on my phone and when I got home to download I'm getting this instrumental mix.

  • @McD said:
    Now the song on Bandcamp seems to have the vocals mixed deep into the background.
    Is it just me or did the track get swapped out for another mix?

    I bought the track on my phone and when I got home to download I'm getting this instrumental mix.

    ????

    Wow! So sorry to hear this! Truly inexplicable. Can't imagine what could account for that. No change has been made to the mix.

    I hope you've gotten this sorted by now? Maybe try downloading it again?

  • @NeuM said:

    I really like that "ENID" track also.

    Thx @NeuM. That was actually a demo I did to accompany my review of the Roland Juno Stage back in 2004-ish when I used to write for EM magazine. Every sound comes from that one keyboard. Much of it is actually a medley of various tunes I wrote back in the 80s.

  • McDMcD
    edited June 14

    @Lady_App_titude said:

    @McD said:
    I bought the track on my phone and when I got home to download I'm getting this instrumental mix.

    Wow! So sorry to hear this! Truly inexplicable. Can't imagine what could account for that. No change has been made to the mix.

    I hope you've gotten this sorted by now? Maybe try downloading it again?

    It's not a problem with your file.

    I imported the wave version into Koala and fed the audio to SideBand Mixer to pull the vocal forward
    and really hear your voice.

    Your ability to hit the pitch dead on is amazing. I hope you stop discounting your abilities as a singer.

    You have a studio quality backup singers ability to blend with instruments. Karen Carpenter level pitch accuracy. I'm not surprised since you focused on hitting each syllable with this spot on pitch that many heard an "auto-tune" like machine capability. I had the same impression on first listen.

    But pulling the vocal forward in the mix made it clear you're just really good and not sliding into a note
    but just nailing it. Hasn't anyone ever remarked on your pitch accuracy?

    I'd like to continue to pull your voice out and will probably try the Koala feature to pull out the vocals and see what I get.

    Please stop holding up tunes for a "pro" singer and work on not focusing on being so precise and sing like you play your other instruments... with a little attitude and character.

  • Here is the thread you were asking about @AndyPlankton !

    Best,
    Babz

  • edited June 16

    @Lady_App_titude said:
    @NeuM said:

    I really like that "ENID" track also.

    Thx @NeuM. That was actually a demo I did to accompany my review of the Roland Juno Stage back in 2004-ish when I used to write for EM magazine. Every sound comes from that one keyboard. Much of it is actually a medley of various tunes I wrote back in the 80s.

    I used to pick that magazine up back when all my recordings were going straight into a Tascam Portastudio 4-track.

  • @Lady_App_titude said:

    Kind of a progressive synth pop anthem for our time:

    https://ladyapp-titude.bandcamp.com/track/we-wont-go-back

    FREE to listen. Easy to purchase/support.

    Best,
    Babz

    Excellent. Composition, arrangement, performance all spot on.

  • Dude, I fell in love when the vocals dropped. I was under the impression that it was going to be an instrumental track, so it took me by surprise, cause I was already liking the stabs and wormy bass.
    It makes me think of the main vocal to Radio Killed The Video Star. You totally crushed it. I’m so glad you didn’t find another singer. You were meant to sing this tune. Love the harmonies.

  • edited June 16

    @Blipsford_Baubie said:
    Dude, I fell in love when the vocals dropped. I was under the impression that it was going to be an instrumental track, so it took me by surprise, cause I was already liking the stabs and wormy bass.
    It makes me think of the main vocal to Radio Killed The Video Star. You totally crushed it. I’m so glad you didn’t find another singer. You were meant to sing this tune. Love the harmonies.

    Thanks so much @Blipsford_Baubie !

    Yes, I was hesitant about such a lengthy introduction.. Violates the cardinal rule of pop music (“Don’t bore us, get to the chorus”), and no doubt I will lose certain people who don’t have the attention span for a dramatic build up. But what you are hearing is exactly how the song evolved, in layers. It started with the “wormy” bass, and then I added Juno-ish strings, then comes a synth clav layer, then an FM bell and the synth lead. And that was all I had for a long time. This was back in 2019.

    Then of course it needed more, a melody, so I wrote that on lead guitar and doubled it with synth and it was like that for a while. But I still didn’t have words. I think I had the title at this point, which just came because things sounded kinda anthemic so it needed some sort of “over coming struggle” title.

    Flash forward a few years to when the Taliban seized control in Afghanistan, and the world watch as 20 years of relative advancement and a taste of freedom — especially for women! — was being reversed. And my mom, who has been a painter throughout her life, but is now very old and frail and barely able to get out of bed.. I thought she would never do art again. But she was so upset by what she was seeing that she dragged herself to the next room and managed to do one more painting, which was this:

    This motivated me to finally come up with words. I thought, if she can manage to do art in her state, I can surely buckle down and get those words done, which I had been procrastinating over. So, inspired by that and the general attempts to turn back progress we are seeing in the world, I managed to come up with the words to fit the pre-existing instrumental track. Then I spent many months trying to find a singer, and finally I felt the song needed to get out there, so here we are. I’ve also been working on a video for it, which is coming soon..

    Thanks so much for such a wonderful comment. So nice to hear from someone out there who really gets it!

  • @espiegel123 said:

    Excellent. Composition, arrangement, performance all spot on.

    Thanks so much, @espiegel123 !

  • Thanks for the background to the track… it’s was worth the wait. Absolutely no need to worry about the vocals, they were great! Also thanks for posting the painting, reminded me of something by William Blake.

  • @GeoTony said:
    Thanks for the background to the track… it’s was worth the wait. Absolutely no need to worry about the vocals, they were great! Also thanks for posting the painting, reminded me of something by William Blake.

    @Lady_App_titude set me straight in a PM that she avoids using herself for vocals because she has to do too many takes. This song required dozens of takes to get to this point and she sat on it for long time while she tried to get a singer to record the vocals. I think we can all relate to this report and some just keep do the extra takes and some (like me) just think "F" that and use sequencers
    and don't use live performances. Most of us certainly don't sing on our shared works with a couple exceptions.

    I never listen to lyrics and prefer to treat vocals as another pitched instrument. It takes a very clean vocal for me to hear complete sentences and this is a protest piece for women's rights... I didn't get it. Did you?
    I hope we are overwhelmingly in support of women's rights here since most forums tilt towards misogeny. From Afghanistan to Alabama women are being driven back into the roles and norms of the mid 1900's. As a father of 2 daughters I support their complete empowerment as fully protected citizens.

  • @McD said:
    @Lady_App_titude set me straight in a PM that she avoids using herself for vocals because she has to do too many takes.

    Yeah, I don’t recall saying exactly that. Doing many takes is a common practice and not in itself a reason to hand something off to a better singer. I mentioned doing multiple takes in the context of your suggestion of something like “just use auto-tune” or whatever. Plus there were some people’s perception/comments that there is some sort of synthetic vocals involved like vocoders or vocaliod on this track. Those options are cool in the right situation. But what I was trying to say in response to the context of that particular discussion is basically… There are many options available in the modern DAW workflow. One of which is the ability to do unlimited takes and comp parts. Another tool is digital pitch correction. I was saying that to my ear, I’m sick of the auto-tune sound. It’s over used. So I would reach for it as a last resort. My preference would be to just keep doing takes before reaching for that effect. But pitch is not the only reason for doing multiple takes. It's about everything. The tone, the vibrato, the amount of breath, the way the word is pronounced, how long it is held, how one word flows into the next word, etc. Some people, good singers, can sound exactly the same every time. Me, I might hit the mark one out of 10 times. And this particular melody and the speed of the words would be challenging, IMO, even for the trained singer. And I’m not really a singer. I’m more of a songwriter than a performing artist at this stage in life. But once I’ve made the decision to put it out with my vocals, I’d rather not focus attention on it. It was just because of this “vocoder” comment that kept happening that the topic of the vocals came up at all.

    she sat on it for long time while she tried to get a singer to record the vocals.

    Much of the difficulty is because everything is done remotely these days. That’s easier to do with instruments, drums, guitar, sax, whatever, but much more complicated with vocals. The issue had more to do with the logistics of working with people… Trying to find the right person who would be the right face for this particular piece, and their commitments, schedules, etc.

    I never listen to lyrics and prefer to treat vocals as another pitched instrument. It takes a very clean vocal for me to hear >complete sentences and this is a protest piece for women's rights... I didn't get it.

    I agree that the words are less important. I would prefer that it be experienced as music first. I would definitely not describe it as “a protest piece for women's rights”. (However, that’s a perfectly valid interpretation if that’s how it speaks to someone.) Yes, I had certain things in mind, certain motivators in my life, but I tried to keep it as generic as possible, as a general message about refusing to give into attempts to thwart progress.

  • @Blipsford_Baubie said:
    Dude, I fell in love when the vocals dropped. I was under the impression that it was going to be an instrumental track, so it took me by surprise, cause I was already liking the stabs and wormy bass.
    It makes me think of the main vocal to Radio Killed The Video Star. You totally crushed it. I’m so glad you didn’t find another singer. You were meant to sing this tune. Love the harmonies.

    It’s “Video Killed The Radio Star”.

  • @NeuM said:

    @Blipsford_Baubie said:
    Dude, I fell in love when the vocals dropped. I was under the impression that it was going to be an instrumental track, so it took me by surprise, cause I was already liking the stabs and wormy bass.
    It makes me think of the main vocal to Radio Killed The Video Star. You totally crushed it. I’m so glad you didn’t find another singer. You were meant to sing this tune. Love the harmonies.

    It’s “Video Killed The Radio Star”.

    Ha-ha, yeah, I had noticed my error after posting, but left it cause I found humor in it, thanks. Either you know about the song or you don’t. Also, a Google search done by a curious young person using my incorrect title will not prevent them from discovering the song.

    Thanks for sharing your mother's art @Lady_App_titude

  • @Blipsford_Baubie said:

    @NeuM said:

    @Blipsford_Baubie said:
    Dude, I fell in love when the vocals dropped. I was under the impression that it was going to be an instrumental track, so it took me by surprise, cause I was already liking the stabs and wormy bass.
    It makes me think of the main vocal to Radio Killed The Video Star. You totally crushed it. I’m so glad you didn’t find another singer. You were meant to sing this tune. Love the harmonies.

    It’s “Video Killed The Radio Star”.

    Ha-ha, yeah, I had noticed my error after posting, but left it cause I found humor in it, thanks. Either you know about the song or you don’t. Also, a Google search done by a curious young person using my incorrect title will not prevent them from discovering the song.

    Thanks for sharing your mother's art @Lady_App_titude

    👍

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